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VIP Squeezes Narrow Victory in Late Summer Opening

Aug 29, 2017
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
  • View6737

With summer coming to an end and the humid heat making way for cooler breezes, cinemas saw a 30% dip in business as one new local release led a string of strong Korean holdovers, giving the domestic industry a commanding 80% advantage in the market.

Unseating three-time champ A Taxi Driver was PARK Hoon-jung’s North Korea-themed serial killer thriller V.I.P., which is the third production by Warner Bros. Korea following KIM Jee-woon’s The Age of Shadows (2016) and LEE Zoo-young’s A Single Rider. The picture debuted with a reasonable 599,000 entries (USD 4.55 million), with 940,000 sales (USD 6.87 million) recorded over its first five days. After a solid opening day on Wednesday, the film began to slow during the weekend and was almost overtaken by a pair of strong local holdovers. 

Down 45% in its fourth weekend was the summer smash A Taxi Driver which added 527,000 viewers (USD 3.87 million) to its tank for an 11.37 million spectator (USD 80 million) haul in 26 days. The film has now overtaken Silmido (2003) to become the 14th highest grossing Korean film of all time and should find its way into the top ten at some point this week.

Just behind during its third spin on the charts was the youth cop comedy Midnight Runners, which secured another 515,000 admissions (USD 3.77 million) after a 39% drop. That gives the film an impressive 4.83 million sales (USD 34.04 million) in 19 days.

Level in fourth place after slowing 53% in week two was HUH Jung’s horror film The Mimic as it brought in another 241,000 viewers (USD 1.73 million), giving it a 1.12 million entries (USD 7.95 million) so far.

Closing out the top five was the sophomore weekend of War for the Planet of the Apes which crashed two places and 70% as it brought in another 203,000 spectators (USD 1.51 million). The sci-fi trilogy capper has accrued 1.95 million admissions (USD 14.31 million).

It was also a strong weekend for indie releases as CHOI Seung-ho’s press censorship doc Criminal Conspiracy dipped just 9% for another 44,000 viewers (USD 328,000) for a strong 149,000 tickets (USD 1.07 million) to date, while KIM Jong-kwan’s star-driven omnibus The Table opened with 25,000 viewers (USD 188,000) in 10th place, with 35,000 entries (USD 256,000) overall.
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